The number of children living in temporary accommodation has increased by more than a third over the past three years because of an acute shortage of affordable housing.
Council leaders have released figures showing that local authorities are providing temporary accommodation for 120,540 people, up by 32,650 since 2014.
The Local Government Association (LGA) said that councils were having to use bed and breakfast accommodation or other housing let by the night, which was expensive and disruptive to children’s schooling, health and friendships and their parents’ job prospects. It called for local authorities to be given powers to borrow money that could be used to build more affordable housing.
“When councils are having to house the equivalent of an extra secondary school’s worth of pupils every month and the net cost of temporary accommodation has tripled in the last three years, it’s clear the current situation is unsustainable for councils and disruptive for families,” Martin Tett, the LGA’s housing spokesman, said.
A spokesman for the Department for Communities and Local Government said: “We’re clear that whilst temporary accommodation is vital in making sure that no family is without a roof over their head, councils have a responsibility to find secure, good-quality accommodation as quickly as possible.”